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Life can be hectic and fast paced which is not conducive to a healthy short-term memory. There's nothing more frustrating than walking into a room or climbing the stairs and forgetting why you went there in the first place. Poor memory can manifest itself in several different ways. Maybe you can never remember what to get at the supermarket or you frequently forget important birthdays or important dates. Regardless of what you forget, the action of forgetting things can lead to frustration, anxiety and even lack of self-esteem.
Technology can definitely help, however do consider that memory can be thought of as a muscle that responds to training and recovery. If you are forgetting things, don't panic, in a large amount of cases, your memory can be restored by taking simple daily actions. Here is a bit more information on why we forget things and how to avoid forgetting altogether:
There are endless reasons why we may forget things. While a doctor is the only one who could officially diagnose you, many people find that the causes listed below are extremely relatable. If you can properly identify why you forget things, you can find out how to avoid forgetting much easier:
Interference theory can explain why we forget things. Proactive interference theory states that an existing older memory can interfere with our retention of a newer memory. On the other hand, retroactive memory states that learning new information can cause us to forget previously learned information.
When you were younger and your mother told you to do your chores while you were watching television, how many times did you actually remember to do them? Chances are it wasn't often. As adults, we can still get distracted when we're told important information, which can lead to forgetting. Always listen attentively and you'll be able to remember everything.
Certain medications like anti-anxiety pills, antidepressants, sleeping pills and some painkillers can cause forgetfulness. Make sure to always ask your doctor about the side effects of a medication before filling your repeat prescription.
Vitamin B-12 is responsible for keeping your body's nerves and blood cells happy. Lack of this vitamin can lead to extreme confusion and (in the older community) dementia. The good news is this vitamin is easy to come by in stores.
Minor head injuries like a concussion can cause short-term memory loss. If you're particularly accident-prone or play a contact sport, remember to always protect your head. Not only can head injuries lead to forgetfulness, but they can also be incredibly painful.
When we don't sleep enough (or properly) our bodies don't get the rest and rejuvenation that they need. The deep sleep and REM phases of our sleep cycles are required to relax our bodies and brains; without these sleep phases, we will wake up groggy and grumpy. This, in turn, can lead to forgetting basic daily tasks.
There is a direct correlation between stress and forgetfulness. When we're stressed, our minds are trying to process several things at once and our bodies can even become physically exhausted. The less stress you have, the better your memory will be.
The list above may have helped you identify the cause of your forgetfulness, but what about the solution? When it comes to remedying forgetfulness, there are several helpful suggestions. Keep in mind that different suggestions work for different people, so try all of them until you find one that works for you.
Making a list is one of the simplest ways to remember things. Whether you need to remember what to buy at the store, what to bring to a party or even what tasks need to be finished for work, a list can come in handy. As soon as you have something to remember, write it down on a list. This has been proven to improve memory in two ways: the action of writing something down helps us to remember what we were writing and a list is a visual guide that you can return to should you forget something.
Creating visuals is extremely helpful when it comes to memory retention. If you need to remember where you put something, for example, you can make a map. Draw a simple map of your room, kitchen, or living room and label what is in the cabinets. This can save time when you're looking for something and can also be studied to improve your memory.
Replaying your memory is like listening to a song over and over. The more you hear the song, the better you'll remember the lyrics. The same works for your memories! The more you replay a memory in your head, the more it will sink in. Then even your subconscious will remember your memories!
In this day and age, nearly everyone has a smart phone. So why not use it to improve your memory? If you are informed about an upcoming event or special birthday (or you simply noticed your fridge was getting empty) record a voice note telling yourself what to remember. Then you can replay these voice notes later to write down dates in your calendar or items on your to-do list.
Another way that smart phones can help with our memories is with its alarm and reminder features. If you have a one-off event that you need to remember, go ahead and set an alarm. There's no way you'll be able to forget when a blaring alarm goes off to remind you! If you need to remember a recurring or daily task, it might be better to use our phone's reminder software.
Let automation and technology take the strain of helping you remember. It need not be overly complicated, just an email prod is enough to help you remember key dates and special events. This is especially true where the date is not fixed, for example Mother's Day.
While forgetting things can be annoying, remember that you're not alone. Hundreds of thousands of people around the world forget things every day! In some cases, the cause can be old age or illnesses that come along with aging, such as Alzheimer's and Dementia. However, more often than not, the cause is easily fixable. The next time you catch yourself staring into space at the supermarket wondering what to buy or looking at your calendar, knowing that there's an upcoming birthday you're forgetting, try some of these simple steps. Make a to-do list, record voice notes as soon as you have something that needs to be remembered and set a reminder on your phone. The majority of the time, these suggestions can help banish your forgetfulness indefinitely.